Donkey Kong has been a mainstay in the Mario series for an extremely long time. The name was first given to the ape who wreaked havoc in the original Donkey Kong arcade game (who we now know to be Cranky Kong), but the Donkey Kong we now know and love is the son of Donkey Kong Jr.
This dapper tie-wearing ape has been around since Rareware's Donkey Kong Country, and he's been fighting Kremlings, guarding bananas, and enjoying some sports with his grandfather's rival every once in a while ever since. But it sounds like DK's family also enjoyed a spot of travelling.
In an officially licensed activity book from fast-food chain Burger King and Nintendo from 2002, there's a curious question that asks where Donkey Kong was born. The options are maybe not what you'd expect, either, and are much closer to home. But for us at Nintendo Life, Burger King and Nintendo point very close to home as the birthplace of Donkey Kong.
Sounds like Donkey Kong might just enjoy tea and scones — or perhaps a spot of banana bread? The UK isn't the first place we'd guess, but that flashy tie obviously gives it away, right?
The second part of the answer is what gets us, though. Donkey Kong was born in the UK, but he now lives on Donkey Kong Island. This means that the events of Donkey Kong Country happened in this world. The series covers events that have happened.
Of course, we're being a bit silly here, but it's amusing to think about why Nintendo and Burger King chose the United Kingdom as the ape's birthplace for this activity book. Well, if he ever wants to visit again, we'd welcome him with open arms here at Nintendo Life Towers!
You can find the whole page with a handful of similar questions over on the Super Mario Wiki — where you can find out why Wario doesn't like Mario and confirm whether Yoshi is a lizard or a dinosaur. Wait...
What do you think of this revelation? Do you remember this activity book? Let us know!
I like this. This is good.
He left UK because he is Republican.
Isn’t Rare British? They’re the ones who made the current DK.
Would it perhaps be Ookong Tea?
Headcanon: Donkey Kong is Welsh
Yeah I'd assume this is because the current "Donkey Kong" is the one reimagined by Rareware. By that logic, Miyamoto's Donkey Kong (Cranky Kong in DKC) is Japanese... I wonder how Cranky got to the UK? 🤔 Funky Kong couldn't have flown him, I'd estimate his age to be about the same as Donkey.
Felly maen nhw yma o'r diwedd, yn perfformio i chi,
Os ydych chi'n gwybod y geiriau, gallwch chi ymuno hefyd!
Rhowch eich dwylo at ei gilydd, os ydych am glapio,
Wrth i ni fynd â chi drwy'r rap mwnci hwn!
I’m now imagining DK with a top hat a monocle and a handle bar mustache saying British things.
Yeah, this confused me at first until others mentioned the whole Rare angle, given they were the ones to introduce our current version of DK (so a near little nod, to be sure).
Especially confusing though, given that the original Donkey Kong (& I guess DK JR?) were set in New York (though have since been retconned to be New Donk).
@samuelvictor Doesn't flow as well as the original English version but it's still a Welsh version of the DK Rap so I literally can't complain
I love this kind of fun trivia. Also, you don’t have to be from the UK to love Tea and Scones….. I am from the states and those are two of my favorite things 😋
@ImmaWario - Now that's a chest thumper.
The UK doesn't have mangroves, volcanoes, or giant octopi, let alone indigenous toothberries. Besides, the British are far from being the furriest primates. (... Alex Olney excepted)
@Jackpaza0508 Diolch yn fawr! Yes its hard to match the flow when Welsh likes to have a million sylables (not to mention L's and Y's) more to say the same thing. You can slightly rearrange the words to make it rhyme, but only by breaking the grammar.
I'm nowhere near fluent enough to attempt rewriting it from scratch to have original but equivalent lyrics that fit the flow. I hugely admire anyone that can do that with songs in any language.
@samuelvictor There's a flaw in that logic. Miyamoto created DK (Cranky) specifically for the US market to utilize Radar Scope cabinets, and from that, Mario (Jumpman) was born.
So, maybe Cranky is American? I mean, the meme builds itself here...
@NEStalgia Very good point! Plus Mario is from Brooklyn, and the term "Goomba" is a slang/insult for Italian-American criminals/mafia members, so it all fits. Interestingly, the word is considered a racial slur if used by non-Italians, and gets sensored when played on the radio in the UK in songs, like "Mambo Italiano". So its ok for Mario and Luigi to call the little mushroom dudes that... but probably not for Peach or Daisy to say it 😂
@samuelvictor Bore da Dwp, Babws Poppity-ping Hoffi Coffi Croseo
@Leprecorn "Hello, its stupid to microwave coffee, but if you like it, you're welcome?" 🤣 Had to do some mental gymnastics to make that word-salad make sense, but it works!
Oi Donkey Kong left the country coz of a wee spot o' bother with Mr Johnson.
@Luigi_Skywalker Out of curiosity, how do you prepare your scones?
@NintendoOverlord DK was not at a Mario Party, it was a Nintendo Work Event.
Sir Kong, OBE, left the nation after a wee spot o' bother with me old chap Mr. Johnson and his parties. Sir Kong was still bitter about his party being interrupted by ye olde Snowmads.
Pretty obvious really, he's loud, gets angry and cant speak but just grunts. On a side note, I'd love to see an open world Donkey Kong game.
That would explain why Nintendo hired Rare to created DKC.
@samuelvictor Wow, they censor that there? Censoring Dino should be criminal itself.
Weirdly, here, "goomba" is one of those 1940's terms that doesn't really get seen outside Nintendo these days. Other slurs were more common in more modern times, though I can't say you really even hear those anymore. I don't think most here would even recognize it as something other than a Nintendo thing now. I'd say outside Brooklyn, but I still picture Brooklyn as "Little Italy" and not the avocado toast-stocked rich-kid hipster paradise it apparently is today.
@NEStalgia Yeah, before I was in film I was a producer and ghost-writer for (mostly American) hip-hop and RnB, and when making censored/radio versions we had specific official lists of what words and terms had to be removed for different timeslots in different countries. The BBC has a very strict list of things they consider racial slurs, some of which are pretty mild, but all of them are considered way worse than things like swearing or drug references, so even at 11pm rap shows you can have some pretty edgy stuff, but can't say even mild racial terms, including "goomba". I was amused when I read that little mushroom guys are called a word I'm technically not supposed to say. That policy is obviously still in place as I heard the Rosemary Clooney version on the radio a few months back and it was sensored.
I am slightly baffled as to why the localisation team at NOA decided to use that word in the first place, but in doing so, I reckon they basically stopped it being used as a common slur as Nintendo became so ubiquitous (1 in 4 households owning a NES at one point!) that everyone now only associates the word with Mario. Its funny when you hear it in old pre-80s gangster/mob movies. So NOA took an offensive word, and turned it into a friendly/childish term, completely removing any bite from using it as an isult. GG I guess!
I'd like some BBC, anyday: Boring Brown Chocolate! (I say!) Sorry, I was watching so much Strong Bad Emails it hurts.
So poor DK was born in captivity. Cranky was right i guess. I mean DK should be born in Africa or Kong island something not UK!
I know OG Donkey Kong is Cranky but who is Donkey Kong Jr. did he ever get a different name?
@samuelvictor That's amazing to me. Maybe because today you don't really hear slurs against all but a few specific groups that are relentlessly protected to the point of universal self-censorship? Seems so strange that an archaic term like "goomba" would be censored in the UK. Almost comedic. It feels almost like we should censor "yankees" in retaliation or something. Darned limeys....
It is a curiosity though how Nintendo actually picked that word. Obviously it was picked without knowing it was a slur. I can only assume it came from Japan, maybe Miyamoto himself, flipping through some book or media for Brooklyn-Italian phrases and found that thinking meant grunt workers or something? That would be in interesting story to hear. Imagine a games company randomly picking a word that's an ethnic slur today and sticking it in a game as the basic enemy of a kids game!
@Grahamthecracker Well that's interesting. If Jr. is DK's kid, rescuing him from Mario, and that DK was Cranky, does that mean modern DK is actually adult Jr.?!
Asyn Kong yma kernewek
Maybe it's a reference to Tarzan since he's supposed to be from UK.
@NEStalgia Well in Japan, they are Kuribō, which means they are actually chestnuts, not mushrooms... I don't think Miyamoto, or anyone from Japan was particularly involved in picking the names for the localisations of the manuals. Often NES manuals weren't even translated from Japanese they just made up completely different stories. And certainly when bringing the first SMB to the west during the Videogame crash, when there wasn't even any certainty whether the NES would sell in the States, I doubt there was much more than 1 member of staff assigned to making the english version of the manual and accidentally picking names and canon that would exist for decades into the future!
Infact at the time there was such antipathy towards the NES from retailers, that even with the "Entertainment System" VHS style redesign, and including ROB the Robot & the light zapper,
the only way to get Toys R Us and Sears to sell them was to do a deal with Worlds Of Wonder that they would refuse to give them stock of Teddy Ruxpin and Lazer Tag unless they also stocked the NES... fascinating story that lead to the short lived "Action Max" console made by ex Atari staff with help from Nintendo! That whole deal is very scarcely documented online. I was the first person to make a YouTube video on it, though its been covered in several books.
@Rambler Another good Celtic language. I don't know any Cornish, but I love their pasties!
I used to know a Welsh DJ, and he was able to get by conversationally in Brittany due to a bit of mutual intelligibility between Welsh and Breton
Having said that, apparently
Gwain coch is the Welsh for red wine
Gwain coc'h is the Breton for s--- wine...
@samuelvictor Also weird they'd be named kuribo....because their design is that of a shiitake mushroom.....
I think the main coherent theme is there's no coherence in their naming and stories of old. Which makes sense, because Miyamoto famously even today is firmly anti-story and Aonuma has had a heck of a time trying to fit Miyamoto's half-baked stories into a coherent timeline
That's really interesting about Worlds of Wonder and Action Max. I was not aware of any of that! I'm pretty sure the remaining 20 Sears stores would kill for Switches to sell, today!
@Rambler Oooh was that Breton not Cornish? All the Celtic languages are pretty similar in structure, though often the exact words are completely different. Interestingly, there are traveler/nomadic and isolated communities throughout France that speak Welsh, and some of them come over to Wales and travel around on bicycles wearing stripey tops and selling onions door to door, speaking with a strong French accent. The first time it happened to me when I first moved to Wales, I thought it was a practical joke as they looked so much like the stereotypes of French people in old cartoons.
@NEStalgia Absolutely, its a strange name. I tried explaining to someone in another thread recently that Miyamoto is anti-story for Mario and they got upset and after trying to explain that I didn't mean it in a bad way, they continued to get upset and I didn't know how to reply. I thought this was common knowledge, but I don't want to argue with someone who'se getting offended at a statement thats not even mine to make.
And yeah for some reason the whole Action Max / Worlds of Wonder Nintendo and Atari partnership is really unknown by the gaming community at large, even though it was well documented in Newpapers and business/financial media at the time. WoW were the biggest toy company in the world for a shirt while, having had the #1 selling toy 2 years in a row. The Action Max, on the other hand, was awful, and rightfully tanked. I should know, I was foolish enough to buy a mint boxed one for the video 😂
It was Cornish, I just went off on a linguistic tangent
The history of the stereotype of the stripey onion seller is mentioned in the tourist boards in Portmadog - guess that selling in Wales and - probably - Cornwall was easier than central England!
That's really interesting - and amusing - about the French Welsh!
@Rambler Ah, no worries, really interesting stuff! Also as an aside on Welsh and France, Disneyland Paris has a 3 day Welsh festival once a year, and several of the shows and parades include the Welsh language, and several members of staff speak at least limited Welsh to the visitors.
Its also the only "Its a Small World" ride in all the parks to contain specific Welsh dolls. I understand that it is because they get so many British visitors from the channel tunnel, but its still nice to see Wales represented. I was sad the first time I went to one of the American parks and realised they have England (read: London) Scotland and Ireland represented, but no Wales.
Does this mean there are also fat crocodiles with crowns on the streets of the UK? How about bears with backpacks or alcoholic squirrels?
@HammerGalladeBro Every living being in the UK is alcoholic. Thats how you can spot us abroad.
@samuelvictor I wasn't aware that Welsh was a separate language, always assumed it was an English accent. 🤔
@TowaHerschel7 There are about 3 main Welsh accents, and I'd guess that 95% of people who live in Wales speak English fluently, many of whom have a Welsh accent. But there is a separate language of Welsh which is completely different to English, which is the oldest European language that is still spoken, and the first European language to have books and poetry published in. Its a beautiful language, but exceedingly difficult to learn, as Celtic languages (Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish etc) are structured completely differently and the letters make very different sounds, compared to most Western European languages which have Latin/Germanic/Greek roots.
In Wales, its a legal requirement that all road signs and government papers, forms etc are in both English and Welsh, and there are TV and radio stations entirely in Welsh. If you are in one of the main big cities in the South like Cardiff, Newport or Swansea, only a small percentage of people are fluent, and they all speak English so that everyone can understand them. But in more rural villages and small towns, especially up north, its many people's first language they learn, and the one they speak the most often. Its similar to Canada having everything in both English and French, but only certain areas speaking French as their first language.
Its very unusual to hear anyone speak Welsh outside of Wales, and as it is such a small country, to the point that most places in the world forget it exists. Its a very niche language even though millions of people speak it at least partially (its compulsary to learn in schools in Wales).
@samuelvictor lol, it's probably just Sticker Star traumatic stress disorder kicking in
I have a Virtual Boy, so I have no room to judge
@NEStalgia 😂 Yeah I was trying to point out what happened after "Thousand Year Door" but no dice. And I also have a Virtual Boy! Plus 64DD, 3do, CD-i, CD32, Jaguar, JagCD, NeoGeo CD, Laseractive, GX4000, c64GS... I'm strangely drawn to obscure failed consoles that I wanted but couldn't afford in my childhood, because I remember reading previews of them in magazines and all the hype surrounding them! Doesn't matter than we now know they failed, at the time, they were the future man!
 lol I keep remembering more failed consoles that I've bought and adding them to the list. I think I have a problem. I also have 32X, Mega CD, Supervision and NGPC, all of which could be called failures, but I actually owned all those nearly at the time they released, buying the 32x/MCD and Supervision secondhand when they were super cheap because they were still current but it was clear they failed so people were giving them away. Bought the NGPC shortly after launch because I needed it for Sonic Pocket Adventure!
I really wouldn’t put so much faith in stuff being ‘officially licensed’. Just means they paid Nintendo to use their IP to advertise fast food.
@samuelvictor are we talking the Goombas or the Toads not being mushrooms?
Also I think a fascinating part of the original story from the English manual is that the toads were transformed into everything by King Koopa. Like I’m fairly certain the bricks you break are technically toads.
@Grahamthecracker We were saying its confusing that the Japanese name for goombas is essentially "chestnut men", when they look like mushrooms. I've read that story about Toads before but never considered that by breaking blocks you might be killing Toads.
I always prefered the Sonic story that the Badniks are innocent animals trapped in robot shells, so Sonic isn't technically killing things, he's rescuing them. As a kid, I felt a little guilty stomping on cute looking goombas and koopas. Now I feel guilty about breaking blocks too! lol
Of course yoshi is a dino; there are no lizards (squamates) in the Mushroom Kingdom.
@BiscuitCrumbsInMyBed I don’t, I buy them from the local bakery. They have a variety of flavors though. Orange, chocolate chunk, white chocolate raspberry, apple and cinnamon. The tea I drink warm or iced depending on the season. My great grandmother was from the uk, I remember her putting milk in her tea but I haven’t done that since I was young (in the 80s). How do you prepare scones in the UK?
@Grahamthecracker The stories in the wild manuals are so hilariously inconsistent. It's like nobody even considered keeping it straight. Stories didn't matter, it was just backdrop for the pretty graphics to them I suppose.
@samuelvictor lol, that's quite the museum of stuff nobody ever wanted The only one on the list I did have was 32x. I returned it like a week later, though, 😆
Yoshi is a what?! I must know! (Just to clarify, I know. It's just for the laugh of the cropping)
@abdias nothing wrong with that, lol.
Best comment I’ve read all day, thank you for that haha
@NEStalgia Haha I love the 32X! But only really because when I bought one in 1995, everyone was getting rid of them to buy Playstations and Saturns, so I got it for like £20, and pretty much every game in the tiny library for £3.99 each! Had a lot of fun with it for the money. However, if I'd have paid £160 for the unit plus £50 a game, I'd have probably felt far less favourably - especially when it was discontinued 6 months later.
Rupey-haw, wot wot.
Forget DK, "Yoshi is a..." what? 🤔
@Luigi_Skywalker with jam on first and then with the clotted cream 😉
Well, in all fairness, Mario and Luigi are Italian-American plumbers from Brooklyn, so it's not entirely impossible for Donkey Kong to have been born in the UK.
@abdias a banana republican?
@BiscuitCrumbsInMyBed Had to google clotted cream (looks like our cream cheese). Sounds delicious though 😋
Btw, side note- I always found it odd that Ted lasso doesn’t like tea- the southern portion of the United States (where he is supposed to be from) is known for it’s love of tea.
@samuelvictor Nice little fact I probably wasn't aware of. Thanks for sharing.
@Luigi_Skywalker It has the consistency of cream cheese, but is more like the extremely thick extra creamy Italian style ice-cream (that you have to scoop. Not the whippy aerated sugar that comes out of McDonalds machines) but of course its not frozen and doesn't melt. VERY high fat/cream content, far less sugar, but similar overall experience to eating icecream, if you can imagine it room temperature but not melting. 😅
@HammerGalladeBro lol no problem!
@Ocaz I had to re-read that a couple of times trying to get the logic before the joke hit me. But once it did, I now have coffee on my monitor.
Tap here to load 64 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...